GovWire

Consultation outcome: Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 statutory guidance

Department Of Health

December 7
10:00 2021

Detail of outcome

Between May and August 2021, the government sought views on its draft statutory guidance to:

  • prevent the inappropriate use of force
  • ensure transparency and accountability about the use of force in mental health units

As a result of the consultation, the government has provided more clarity on:

  • the definitions of the types of force and settings the act applies to
  • the role of the responsible person, and the skills and experience needed
  • the definition of negligible use of force, and circumstances in which it does and does not apply

The final statutory guidance was published alongside the government response to this consultation on 7 December 2021. The new provisions under the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018 will come into force on 31 March 2022.

The governments response to the easy read version of the consultation will follow shortly.

Detail of feedback received

We received 421 responses from individuals and organisations. A full summary of the responses received and respondent demographics is included in the governments consultation response.

Original consultation

Summary

We want your views on the statutory guidance to prevent the inappropriate use of force and ensure transparency and accountability about the use of force in mental health units.

This consultation ran from
to

Consultation description

Applies to: England (and police forces in Wales)

The use of force includes:

  • physical, mechanical or chemical restraint of a patient
  • the isolation of a patient, including seclusion and segregation

The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act became law in November 2018. The aim of the act and the statutory guidance is to:

  • clearly set out the measures that are needed to both prevent the inappropriate use of force
  • ensure accountability and transparency about the use of force in mental health units

The statutory guidance, which will be issued by the Department of Health and Social Care, is intended for use by NHS hospitals and independent hospitals (providing NHS-funded care) in England providing care and treatment to patients with a mental disorder. It will provide the information they need about how they should meet the legal obligations placed on them by the act, in addition to best practice advice.

The guidance also covers the obligations on police officers when in mental health units in England.

We welcome all responses to the consultation, especially from those who have lived experience of mental ill health or have been subjected to the use of force in a mental health unit.

Please refer back to the full statutory guidance when answering the consultation questions.

Documents

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